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Orphans and the relational significance of birth: a response to Singh
  1. Christopher A Bobier
  1. Department of Philosophy, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, Winona, MN 55987, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christopher A Bobier, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, Winona, MN 55987, USA; cbobier{at}


Prabhpal Singh has defended a relational account of the difference in moral status between fetuses and newborns. Newborns stand in the parent-child relation while fetuses do not, and standing in the parent-child relationship brings with it higher moral status for newborns. Orphans pose a problem for this account because they do not stand in a parent-child relationship. I argue that Singh has not satisfactorily responded to the problem.

  • Abortion
  • Infanticide
  • Moral Status
  • Newborns and Minors
  • Embryos and Fetuses

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  • Contributors This response is the work of the author.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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